Mayor Rob Ford to address city when he returns Monday
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford says he’ll address the city when he returns Monday after a two-month leave of absence to deal with his substance abuse problems.
In a press release issued on Friday, a representative from Ford’s office said they mayor will be speaking to members of the media and the public at city hall on Monday at 3:30 p.m.
Mayor Ford took a sudden leave of absence from office back in April to seek treatment at GreeneStone rehab facility in Bala, Ont., following the release of a new video showing him smoking from what appears to be a pipe. The video has not been viewed by CTV News.
He had previously admitted to smoking crack cocaine during a “drunken stupor” in an earlier incident.
During his two-month stint in rehab, Ford was spotted by several local residents in the area, taking pictures with supporters and running errands around town.
Coun. Doug Ford says his brother is eager to return to office and excited to rejoin the mayoral race.
Ford said his brother has undergone more than 450 hours of counselling and has lost a significant amount of weight during his time in rehab -- dropping close to eight pant sizes in under two months.
Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly, who has assumed many of Ford’s duties since the controversy over Ford’s alleged substance abuse problems erupted more than a year ago, downplayed Ford’s return to office while speaking to reporters at city hall on Friday.
“I expect it to be business as usual, as it was before he left,” Kelly said.
While many of Ford supporters are looking forward to seeing mayor back in office, some councillors are worried the mayor’s return will bring a media circus back to city hall.
“I fear that the soap opera will start again and that is always a challenge to the entire city to have a distraction like that,” Coun. Josh Matlow told CTV Toronto.
Meanwhile, Coun. Shelley Carroll said she hopes Ford’s return will mean that the mayor is finally healthy and ready to put the city first.
“I am hoping that we find him in good health, we’ve been very concerned about his health because of the alcohol and drug problems,” she said.
While Ford will not be taking questions during his address on Monday, the mayor will be sitting down for a one-on-one interview with CTV Toronto’s Ken Shaw on Wednesday.
With a report from CTV Toronto’s Ashley Rowe